A 4-year-old Black girl became the poster child for a pro life anti-abortion group. Her mom had no idea until she saw the billboard.

 A 4-year-old Black girl became the poster child for a pro life anti-abortion group.  Her mom had no idea until she saw the billboard.


Tricia Fraser

  • Tricia Fraser was blindsided when her daughter appeared in an anti-abortion ad without her consent.

  • The mom of four said she had a flashback to the ordeal after the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade.

  • Her daughter Anissa was 4 when she posed for the photo used for the ad.

When Tricia Fraser first heard about the overturning of Roe v. wadeshe was taken back to the time in 2011 when her young daughter unknowingly became the poster child of the anti-abortion movement.

The mom of four was blindsided when a photograph of her daughter Anissa was displayed on a billboard in New York City without her knowledge or consent.

Anissa, who was 4 years old when the picture was taken, wore a pink sundress and a white bow in her hair in the advert. The wording above her head said, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”

“It was horrific,” Fraser, of Passaic Park, New Jersey, told Insider. She added: “She was so sweet and so innocent, and using her image in that light was just terrible.”

Tea billboard was removed. But Fraser said she took legal action against Life Always, the anti-abortion organization that created it.

“I was very sad about it, and I wanted them to take it down,” the 48-year-old said. “I wanted to raise hell about it, which I did.”

She added: “My outrage was because they used Anissa’s picture to depict African Americans in such a negative way.”

Fraser said the lawsuit — which included allegations of racism — was successful. But she declined to comment further on that aspect of the case.

Fraser said she believed in abortion rights and was concerned about women’s rights being taken away

Fraser said that the Supreme Court’s rulingwhich allows each state to decide its own abortion laws, triggered a flashback to the distress that was caused by the ad 11 years ago.

The single mom recalled how upsetting it was not to have known that Anissa’s picture — originally taken at a modeling shoot in 2009 — would be used for a controversial campaign that Fraser didn’t support.

Tricia Fraser with her daughter Anissa

Tricia (left) and Anissa Fraser, who is now 18.Tricia Fraser

She said that “as the mother of four daughters and the grandmother of a 6-year-old girl,” she felt sad for them, adding, “God forbid, if they ever find themselves in a position like that, they’re not able to choose what they want to do.”

Fraser said that Anissa, who’s now 18 and graduated from high school last week, was aware of the Supreme Court’s policy reversal, and that the teen had previously “Googled herself” and read about her inadvertent role in the abortion debate.

Anissa Fraser posing with her sisters and niece

Anissa Fraser posing with her sisters and niece during her graduation.Tricia Fraser

“She was too young to remember it at the time, but she came across it,” Fraser said.

The mom said the photographer who took Anissa’s photo 13 years ago said it would be used “for stock photography,” along with pictures taken of Fraser’s other daughters, who are now between the ages of 16 and 26. Fraser had signed a release two years earlier at the photographer’s studio.

But while the agreement said the shots might be available to agencies, such as Getty Images, it said they couldn’t be used in “a defamatory way.”

Fraser told Insider that friends alerted her to the ad, which was attached to a tall building in downtown Manhattan.

The anti-abortion group that created the ad was accused of being ‘highly offensive’

“Everyone could see it,” said Fraser, a former social worker. She said she immediately drove over to take a picture of the ad. Fraser said she later heard that Anissa’s face featured on billboards displayed in other parts of the US and on anti-abortion leaflets that Life Always had distributed overseas.

In 2011, CBS8 wrote that the Rev. Stephen Broden, a board member for Life Always who’s Black himself, had liked abortion to a “genocidal plot.”

Letitia James, then a New York City councilor of the Working Families Party, said in a statement, “Every woman has the right to personal choices in regards to her body, and I respect different points of view.” She went on, “But to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive.”

Media reports at the time said that Planned Parenthood, the reproductive and sexual health provider, called the Life Always crusade “an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women and send a divisive message around race to restrict access to medical care. “

Read the original article on Insider



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